Blue Ribbon Fresh Blueberry Cobbler

The Fruit:
3 cups fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter

The Biscuit:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons chilled butter, cubed
1 cup milk

For Sprinkling On Top:
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together the blueberries, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon rind, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Combine thoroughly but gently so as not to mash the berries. Place fruit mixture into a buttered square pan (8" x 8" or 9" x 9") and set aside.

Stir together the 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, 6 tablespoons sugar. Add the 5 tablespoons of chilled, cubed butter and rub with fingers or cut with a pastry blender until butter is in tiny pieces. Don't over mix; you want to keep the butter as cold as possible for flaky biscuits. Stir in the milk just until moistened. Batter will be very thick. Spoon the batter, using heaping tablespoonfuls, over the fruit.

Mix together the 2 teaspoons sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over biscuits. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown on top and blueberries are bubbly. Enjoy!

Harlequin Junkie Top Pick!

My newest book, Her Fake Romance, just earned a 5 Heart rating from Harlequin Junkie book blog. My smile couldn't beam any brighter than it is right now! Sara, who runs the Harlequin Junkie blog, might be giving away copies of the book soon, so I would recommend that you go sign up for her blog posts so you won't miss out on any deals. (She's always giving away romance novels so - unless you don't like free stuff - you should pop over there and get in on all the action.)

I don't want to give the whole review away (I'd like for you to pop over the Harlequin Junkies to read it), but here are a couple of snippets:

"This book was gorgeous! A very delicious plot if I may say so with BONUS recipes!"
"The author’s style was pure delight, fun and funky. Modern and very entertaining."

Sara will be giving away 3 copies of the book in September. If you don't want to wait until next month's giveaway, here are links to buy Her Fake Romance:

As Summer Dwindles

It's coming. The end of summer is fast approaching. I can feel it in the chill of the early morning air. I can see it on the color-tinged tips of the tree leaves. I can hear it in the chirrup of the cicadas. I can smell it when I drive through a nearby apple orchard. Sure, autumn doesn't arrive for another month, but I can feel the old girl coming. Can't you?

“One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter.”  ~Henry David Thoreau

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”  ~Henry James

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”  ~John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

“It's a smile, it's a kiss, it's a sip of wine ... it's summertime!”  ~Kenny Chesney

“A man says a lot of things in summer he doesn't mean in winter.”  ~Patricia Briggs, Dragon Blood

“If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper...”  ~Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

“Summer bachelors like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be.”  ~Nora Ephron

“Why is summer mist romantic and autumn mist just sad?”  ~Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

“When the sun gets hot and the moon gets hazy
good girls go bad... and it gets crazy!”  ~Rachel Thompson

“Some of the best memories are made in flip flops.”  ~Kellie Elmore

Enjoy what's left of these lazy summer days! I intend to slip on my flip flops and make some happy memories.

Quinoa Salad

I can hear you now. Keen-what?

A highly nutritious and gluten free seed, quinoa (pronounced  KEEN-wah) is originally from the Andean region of South America. It has a mild, slightly nutty flavor that makes it a great substitute for rice or couscous. Quinoa is packed with nutrition; it's an exceptional source of protein, containing all eight amino acids, which makes it an excellent option for people looking to reduce their consumption of meat. It's a good source of dietary fiber and contains B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It's easy to prepare, tastes great, gluten free, and very versatile.

One note, check the package! If the quinoa you purchase isn't pre-rinsed, you must rinse it in a fine sieve to remove the bitter-tasting saponins.

I'm the kind of cook who opens the refrigerator and asks, "What's for dinner?" This recipe is perfect for me as I have used any combination of the veggies listed below to prepare this salad. Whatever is on hand, that's what I use.

First, cook the quinoa:

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil
Add 1 ½ cups of quinoa

Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit for five minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Choose at least three of the veggies listed below, four is better, five is YUM! The mix of cooked and raw vegetables adds to the great texture of this delicious salad.

1 cucumber, peeled, quartered and chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1 cup fresh broccoli florets, raw or lightly sautéed in olive oil
1 cup carrot, raw, shredded
1 cup leeks, sliced and lightly sautéed in olive oil
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas, raw
1 small jar of marinated baby beets, drained
1 cup fresh cauliflower, raw or lightly sautéed in olive oil
¼ cup sliced scallions
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
1 cup red, yellow, or green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 or 2 small zucchini, quartered and chopped, raw or lightly sautéed
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced thin
1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 cup snow peas, raw
1 cup fresh asparagus, chopped (raw if it's thin, or lightly steamed if it's thick)

You get the idea! Any vegetable will work. Use whatever you like.

Other (optional) ingredients I've used (choose 1 nut/seed and/or 1 cheese):
½ cup of walnut pieces
½ cup pecan pieces
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pine nuts
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Ingredients I always use in this salad:
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced fine
Salt and pepper to taste
Enough bottled salad dressing to moisten ingredients. I prefer Wish Bone Robusto Italian, but I've also used Good Seasons Italian (follow package directions), Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette. If you're on a diet, use 'light' salad dressing.

To assemble:
Stir together the quinoa, parsley, salt, pepper, and your choice of vegetables/nuts/seeds in a large bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature, or chill for several hours. I always get rave reviews when I bring this salad to potluck dinners or family gatherings. Enjoy!

Her Fake Romance

It's here! It's here! Links are below! I just uploaded my newest book to Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes. I'm excited! This book contains bonus material. My female protagonist is a caterer, so I included some delicious recipes that, I hope, will only enhance your reading experience.

Here's the back cover blurb:

"Mom, get a life!"

Her teenage daughter's words were daunting. True, struggling single mom Julia Jones hadn't had a date in over a decade, but she could still catch a man–if she needed to! So Julia, who claimed not to want a husband, found herself entangled in a fake romance.

Ryan Shane was tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome. And he just so happened to need a no-strings date himself. Their plan was perfectly thought out. Until a conveniently staged good-night kiss turned into very inconvenient passion…

When you're not sure what to do...
sometimes you just gotta fake it!

Kindle US   Kindle UK   Nook   Kobo   iBooks

Take Me, I'm Yours available for Nook!

My latest sweet romance is now available in the Barnes & Noble Nook Book Store! I'm very excited. The official launch day is Monday, August 6th; however, I'd love to give my readers a sneak peek at the cover.

What one reader says about the book: "Readers who enjoy Debbie Macomber’s writing will feel right at home in a Fasano novel."

Debbie Macomber! Can you believe it! I love Debbie's books and I'm thrilled to have my work compared to hers.

Here's a link to Take Me, I'm Yours in the Nook Book Store.

I hope you'll celebrate with me all weekend long! Remember, the official launch day is Monday, August 6th. I'm stocking up on cases of champagne and those little hot-dog hor d'oeuvres. (I'm very high brow, don't you know?)